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Deport Bangladeshi Immigrants Along With Rohingyas Within a Year: PIL in SC

Amid the raging debate on deportation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, a fresh Public Interest Litigation filed in the Supreme Court on Friday sought the immediate deportation of all illegal immigrants, including those from Bangladesh, within a year.

Debayan Roy | News18.com

Updated:September 22, 2017, 7:15 PM IST
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Deport Bangladeshi Immigrants Along With Rohingyas Within a Year: PIL in SC
Rohingya refugees wait for boat to cross a canal after crossing the border through the Naf river in Teknaf, Bangladesh (Photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: Amid the raging debate on deportation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, a fresh Public Interest Litigation filed in the Supreme Court on Friday sought the immediate deportation of all illegal immigrants, including those from Bangladesh, within a year. The matter has been listed for hearing on October 3.

The petitioner, advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, said having Rohingyas in the country would amount to a serious security threat. He also pointed out before the court that states like Kerala had become a hot bed of illegal activities due to the infiltration of Bangladeshi immigrants.

“In August 2016, a native of west Bengal was arrested in Kerala, for insulting the national flag and he was later found to be an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh. There is said to be major racket at the borders of West Bengal and Assam with Bangladesh, which provides illegal migrants with identity cards. Even Kerala police are reportedly finding it difficult to check the influx of these Bangladeshi illegal migrants,” reads the petition. The petition also seeks amendments to the respective laws to make illegal migration and infiltration, a cognisable non-bailable and non-compoundable offence.

The petition also states that the Kerala State Intelligence officials said they found that “large section of migrant labourers in Kerala claiming to be from West Bengal or even Assam were actually from Bangladesh.”

“Rohingyas with militant background are found to be very active in Jammu, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mewat, and have been identified as having a very serious and potential threat to the internal and national security of India,” the PIL further reads.

Since Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had announced government’s plan to deport 40,000 Rohingyas, the Supreme Court has seen one petition after the other from both sides.

The PIL also sought the court’s directive to central and state governments to identify, detain and deport all the illegal migrants and infiltrators, including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas within one year.

The apex court is also due to hear the case to determine whether the Section 6A of the Assam Accord is constitutionally valid or not which would have a direct bearing on the Bangladeshi immigrants in Assam post 1948.

Upadhyay’s petition unequivocally reiterates the stand taken by the government in its official affidavit. It claims that a normal citizen of India has a right to live in a good environment with freedom and dignity, except that Upadhyay claims that the existence of these refugees was bound to put this right of the citizen at risk.

News18 spoke to senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who is representing over 7000 Rohingyas from Jammu. He said “Rohingyas deserve to live in India as they have a constitutional right to stay and not because of sympathy”.

“It flows from Article 21 which guarantees Right to Life and it includes both citizens and as well as foreigners. Therefore the Constitution protects foreigners. Now if they are sent back then they will be raped, killed and houses will be burnt and lives would be under threat if the Indian government sends them back. Article 21 prohibits the government from causing threat to life to anybody,” said Gonsalves.

The PIL also sought making of forged or fabricated PAN Cards, Aadhaar Cards, Passport, Ration Cards or Voter Cards a non-bailable, non-compoundable and cognisable offence and seeks to amend the laws too.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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